Punta Ala – The first event of 2018 Melges 24 European Sailing Series kicks off with lovely springy conditions that allowed the fifteen participating teams from six nations to start the season with a full day of sailing. Moderate breeze filled The Gulf of Follonica in the late morning and the fleet, under the superb coordination of PRO Alessandro Testa, completed three races, getting back to the moorings only in the late afternoon.
The first victory of the season went to the newcomers of General Lee ITA793 (1-1-7) by Mario Zilliani with Samuele Nicolettis calling tactics. The Italian crew replied the same great result in the second race of the series, having then to leave room to FGF Sailing Team HUN728 (3-2-1) helmed by Robert Bakoczy, that proved to be the most consistent boat of the fleet today: with partial results that went progressively improving during the day, the Hungarian team conquered the leadership of the provisional ranking.
“The very first start of the season was not as good as we could have expected: we found ourselves out of the starting line so we had to get back in and we ended up being the last boat of the fleet. Nevertheless, already in the upwind leg we managed to gain some positions and the same we did in the following downwind, progressively improving our position in the fleet and ending up with an unexpected third place. We have been getting faster during the three races of today, which is a very good sign for the rest of the season that still has to come: we will miss just the series’event of Torbole, but all of our attention is now focused on the Europeans in Riva Del Garda” commented Robert Bakoczy, helmsman of FGF Sailing Team, at the end of the races.
In the overall provisional ranking, third place is occupied by Andrea Racchelli’s Altea ITA722 (2-3-6), while from fourth place we start finding the Corinthian crews: the best, among them, is the reigning double-world champion Taki 4 (ITA778, 8, 4, 3) by Marco Zammarchi, with Niccolò Bertola in helm and Giacomo Fossati calling the tactics. Gill Race Team GBR694 of Miles Quinton with Geoff Carveth helming (6-6-4) follows in fifth with a gap of just one point over Taki 4 and Arkanoè by Montura ITA809 (4-5-15) helmed by Sergio Caramel completes the provisional podium of the Corinthian division.
Full results here.